alycewilson (alycewilson) wrote,

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Found Poor Richard

When we visited the Franklin Institute last weekend to see their special Star Wars exhibit, I tried out a new computer activity in the Franklin Gallery, which is based on the scientific experiments and inventions of Benjamin Franklin.

The computer allowed you to drag words to complete a famous saying, which the computer then printed out. I was feeling silly, so I came up with, "An pound of prevention is worth a yard of cure."

Poor Richard saying 1

When I picked mine up from the printer, I discovered three others that had been left behind. Someone else had been similarly nonsensical, producing the saying, "An leg of prevention is worth a tree of cure."

Poor Richard saying 2

A similar activity at the same computer allowed you to fill in pictures to complete a different famous Franklin saying. The first was done by somebody who was clearly trying to get it correct, the saying being "Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise." For "bed," they used an image of a bed; for "rise," an image of a rising sun; for "healthy," an image of a runner crossing the finish line; for "wealthy," a stack of money; and for "wise," what appears to be a person holding a book.

Poor Richard saying 3

The final person went for the surreal, using an image of coffins instead of the word "bed," a man’s brain instead of the word "rise," a bee for "healthy," a runner crossing the finish line for "wealthy," and a monk with his finger to his lips for "wise."

The way I read it, the saying now says, "Early to death and early to thought makes a man honeyed, healthy and religious." Or something like that.

Poor Richard saying 4

Something tells me that if Franklin had published these sayings in his almanac, he would have sold far fewer copies.

I’m not the only person who appreciates non sequiturs.

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Tags: found items, museums

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